Monday, July 25, 2011



Thursday last, the Ohio secretary of state office certified that "We Are Ohio" had collected 915,456 "valid" signatures of the approximately 1.3 million collected. Of those, Stark County petition circulators submitted 29,235 of 38,365 collected or 76% of the petition signers.

Those numbers are consistent across Ohio and bode failure for Republican Governor John Kasich in his fight to get the upper hand on unions that represent public employees.

In preparation for the possible implementation of SB 5, Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero's office in the person of Assistant Prosecutor Mike Bickis has spent hours poring over SB 5 and HB 153 (the recently passed and signed into law two year budget bill) trying to figure out what ramifications the two bills will have on Stark's political subdivisions (villages, cities, townships and boards of education).

On July 19th, the Stark County commissioners had Bickis in to their public meeting place office in a public work session to explain to them and the Stark County public exactly what the effect on county operations SB 5 and HB 153 might have. In today's blog, the SCPR focuses on Bickis' explanation of SB 5.

The Report will do a follow-up blog on HB 153 (the budget bill) soon.

While the SCPR does not expect SB 5 to become law because it seems pretty clear that voters are set to reject it. But nothing is for sure. The campaigns "We are Ohio" (for rejecting the bill) and "Build a Better Ohio" (for approving the bill) are in the process of putting their campaigns together. So it is prudent for Ferrero's office to have spent the time, which is a precious commodity to the office given the time he has had to allocate to the Stark County Treasurer Gary Zeigler proceedings with about a dozen less personnel due to county financial problems, to put together the analysis Bickis has come up with.

The Report commends Bickis for his work.

Even if Ohioans reject SB 5, The Report believes that Governor Kasich is so intent on getting the changes on Ohio's collective bargaining law housed in SB 5, he will reload and most if not all of SB 5's provisions will show up in other executive and legislative actions in new and repeated attempts to get his way on the issue.

Kasich is showing in a little more than six months in his administration that he has a lot more grit and determination to get his program in place than did the man he defeated last November.

Strickland said in his 2007 inauguration speech that he would be a failed governor if he failed to fix the Ohio Supreme Court articulated (in a series of four DeRolfe decisions) unconstitutional funding of public education.  In the summer of 2008 at a North Canton Bitzer Park event at which John Boccieri announced he was running for Congress, Strickland in response to a Stark Countian who questioned as to when he was going to get moving on fixing the funding of public education said:  "I am keeping my powder dry."


Hey, former Governor Strickland, big mistake, huh?

It is clear that Kasich - if he fails - will not do so sitting on his political duff!

In Stark County, Christina Hagan (R-Marlboro, the 50th) and Kirk Schuring (R-Jackson, the 51st) are legislative allies of Kasich.  Both voted for SB 5.  However, state Senator Scott Oelslager (R-Plain) did not.

Any Stark Countian who wants to get a handle on "the devil is in the details" aspect of the Kasich administration's work (along with its allies in the Ohio General Assembly can do so in watching the following collection of seven (7) videos of Bickis making his presentation to county commissioners.

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